Forbes Library is joining the cause to bring awareness that September as FASD Awareness month, and September 9th as International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Day. The goal is to increase awareness and support for people living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs). Local artist Angela Zammarelli and Jessica Tanner, adoptive parent of children with an FASD, collaborated to create a display about FASD for the lobby of Forbes Library that will be in place for the month of September.

Ms. Tanner recently reached out to Massachusetts Representative Lindsay Sabadosa to share her children’s stories and Lindsay showed great interest, concern, and empathy for the challenges related to FASD. She said, “Raising awareness about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is one of the most important things we can do so that state policies can appropriately address the issue and support individuals with FASD and their caregivers. Talking to parents whose children have FASD has really opened my eyes to the ways this disorder has, far too often, been ignored. Education, conversation, and policy adjustments are all critical components to create real, substantial change.”

Prenatal alcohol exposure is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, prematurity and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), as well as a range of lifelong physical, behavioral, and intellectual disabilities. FASDs can impact physical, mental, behavioral, or cognitive development as well as cause growth deficiencies, central nervous system disabilities, and, in only about 10% of people diagnosed, specific facial characteristics. Studies show that up to 1 in 20 U.S. school children may be on the FASD spectrum, a rate more than double that of autism. Unfortunately, FASD is under recognized, with supports and services not widely available, and far too few diagnostic and treatment services currently available. In addition to public health messaging on the importance of avoiding alcohol while pregnant, it is crucial to bring recognition and awareness of children and adults living with FASDs and their need for services and supports.

Individuals living with FASDs benefit from structure, support, understanding and most importantly, early diagnosis, early intervention and FASD informed medical and mental health care providers. Recognizing the strengths, talents and gifts that individuals diagnosed with FASD bring to our communities is a great way to celebrate FASD Awareness Month. Human service organizations, health care professionals, educators, and the public are called to action to work together to support the FASD community by increasing awareness, becoming educated, and supporting broader efforts to bring FASD informed services, interventions and supports to those living with this disability. For more information on FASD or alcohol use during pregnancy, visit, or The FASD display will be on view through the end of September at Forbes Library, 20 West St, Northampton, MA.

Press Contact: Lisa Downing, Director, or 413-587-1016